Photo Credit: Maria Boynton

Former Mayor Kasim Reed Under Fire for Paying Out Over 500K in Bonuses in 2017

Update: Mayor Reed responds in a statement.

Amanda Cooper
April 24, 2018 - 4:55 pm

Former Mayor Kasim Reed is under fire again. This time he is being investigated for giving away over half a million dollars end of the year bonuses and contest give-a-ways at the annual employee Christmas party. FOX 5 reported that the bonuses ranged from $5,000 to 15,000 dollars per employee and that employees ranged from the Mayor's scheduler to department heads and Commissioners.

City records obtained by the FOX 5 I-team through an Open Records request show the following excessive spending of taxpayers dollars. 

•    26 winners - of a Lip Sync contest got a total of some $28,000.
•    Three Ugly Sweater Contest winners won a total of $2104
•    34 staffers got bonuses ranging from $500 to $3000 bringing the holiday contests and bonus total to $68,067.
•    33 members of the Executive Branch year-end received bonuses ranging from $5000 to $15,000 for a total of- $335,000.
•    32,500 dollars in bonuses went to the Mayor's executive protection team
•    Records showed former Human Resources Commissioner Yvonne Yancy paid another $57,500 to her top staffers. 

That is a rough total of - $518,067

Reed's spokesman sent a statement to WSB-Channel 2:

"At the end of Mayor Reed’s term, the City of Atlanta was on its best financial footing in 40 years. Atlantans benefited from eight consecutive balanced budgets, zero property tax increases, zero water rate increases, nine consecutive credit- rating increases, more than $200 million in cash reserves and a 37 percent reduction in crime. As a result, Mayor Reed awarded performance bonuses to members of his Cabinet and senior team - who all played a significant role in contributing to this record of achievement.

"Rewarding employees for service and performance is not new and has been common practice in the City of Atlanta. From 2008 to 2012, the City of Atlanta employed a gift card program used to reward employees in various departments. Also, in 2013, the City of Atlanta Innovation Delivery Team launched a city-wide employee ideas competition which rewarded employees for their ideas on how the City could reduce waste, cut red tape and save money on operations.

"These bonuses were appropriate and Mayor Reed believes that the individuals who received the bonuses were worthy of them based upon their contributions to the City of Atlanta’s unprecedented growth and fiscal stability." 

A spokesperson for current Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' spokesperson said the bonus decisions "were made without input from the current Administration."  And, Mayor Bottoms vows to evaluate how "City business can be conducted in a transparent and responsible manner."

Atlanta City President Felicia A. Moore responded to the news through a post on Facebook.

Felicia A. Moore's public Facebook post


With the overwhelming stain of city corruption looming over the current administration from Reed's tenure; Mayor Bottoms and her administration, decided to launch a new online portal called "Atlanta's Open Checkbook" which will allow anyone to search, follow, track and analyze the city's spending.

Watch the video below as City of Atlanta COO Richard Cox explains the new online tool.